George Matsunaga oral history interview, part 1 of 3, October 9, 2010


Dublin Core


George Mitsuru Matsunaga was born on May 28, 1925, in Wailuku, Maui. George had many positive influences that shaped him during his informal educational years. At home, his parents taught him filial piety and to study hard. In English school and Japanese language school, the teachers taught him to be a good student and person. Life outside school, George was active in the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. He also enjoyed playing hanafuda, karuta, movies, and sports.

Life for George changed on December 7, 1941. George recalls learning about the Pearl Harbor attack and described Japan's attempt to attack the oil refinery. At school, George remembered digging trenches and carrying a gas mask every day even to graduation. After Pearl Harbor, George feared what would happen to the Japanese American community.

When George graduated high school, he attended the University of Hawaii and worked for a pineapple cannery. At the University of Hawaii, the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) recruited George. On January 3, George was sworn in for service and went to a replacement depo outside Schofield. George left Hawaii for the first time to go to the mainland for training.

At the CIC School in Maryland (Camp Ritchie). George learned FBI work. Later, George went to Fort Meade, Maryland, and took furlough. George received news the war ended and was shipped out immediately to Camp Stonemann Pittsburg to go overseas.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1925 May 28

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service


Matsunaga, George: narrator et al., “George Matsunaga oral history interview, part 1 of 3, October 9, 2010,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed March 3, 2024,